Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
Australasia's "New Economy" News And Commentary Site
Headlines | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Archives | Job Centre | MARKETPLACE | For Sale
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Lighten Up 17 May 2002 Edition
Previous Edition | Archives

Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
Click To See
Time for a little more mirth and mayhem to lighten up a late autumn day.

Could this be the new Progressive party's website -- and if so, is this a message to those members who might not be prepared to toe the Anderton line?

Are you just a little disappointed that Dr Oingo Boingo from Nigeria hasn't contacted YOU with an offer of millions just for allowing him to launder some illicit cash through your bank account? Fear not, Mike has collected plenty of Nigerian Scam emails for you to reply to.

Have you ever wondered whether those "make money from home" offers you receive by way of junk emails are legit? Well The Onion has done a good job of explaining the minor details involved -- but I say go for it!

Coming Up This Week
In response to reader demand, I'll be publishing and archiving an updated version of my guide to website promotion and online marketing. If you've got a website that needs more traffic, or if you're trying to sell products or services online then this is the type of information that you can pay big money for elsewhere.

This supplementary feature will be published online this weekend.

The Sky "Pub Carpark" Decoder
Boy, I got a good load of email following yesterday's column and my piece about the use of free software to crack Sky TV's UHF service.

Even the NZ Herald has written a story about it in today's edition.

The number of people who have tried (generally with good results) or are actually using this software to watch SkyTV has surprised me. I now wonder how long it will be before we see stolen PCs with copies of the software pre-installed turn up in pub carparks as a cheap, no-subscription required Sky decoder?

Any crim with just a few clues could cobble together such a box for no more than a few hundred dollars -- remembering that it needn't have a monitor or a mouse and can get-by with a tiny hard drive. Such a box configured to auto-start the decryption program and fed with the video-output from a VCR would become pretty much a black-box and be easy to sell.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
From Yesterday...
  • VideoCrypt... - Ben
  • VideoCrypt decoding... - Pete
  • hvcplus for decoding sky... - Richard
  • Have Your Say

    I can see it now -- thousands of big burly guys huddled around their TVs watching "interesting and educational documentaries" on the Discovery Channel through the illegal PC-based decoder they bought from the boot of an old Holden in the car park of a South Auckland pub on a Saturday night. Oh yeah...

    TV News -- Objective? I don't think so
    Regular Aardvark readers will recall the huge amount of anger and frustration expressed by users of Sky's digital pay TV service when the broadcaster decided to "upgrade" the firmware in the set-top box.

    Almost without exception, people were less than impressed by the way the "upgrade" turned their channel-changing experience into something akin to wading through deep mud in gumboots.

    Aardvark covered this subject on several occasions and the NZ Herald also published several pieces on the matter -- but there was not a single mention on TVNZ's One News or TV3's news broadcasts.

    Let's be quite clear about this -- here was a problem that affected as many as 300,000 households and produced more reader feedback than any other story ever published on this site -- but neither TVNZ nor TV3/4 would touch it with a bargepole.

    Clearly there's a very sensitive relationship between Sky TV (who just happen to carry TV1,2,3 and 4 on their digital satellite service) and the free to air (FTA) broadcasters.

    It was no surprise to me therefore, to notice that TV news has also completely ignored the fact that a surprisingly large number of people are using their PCs and some free software to watch SkyTV for free. If that number were just 1,000 people then it's a theft of more than half a million dollars a year -- hardly petty crime.

    When TV news is prepared to ignore stories because they might upset a business partner you have to wonder about what other news they're carefully choosing to ignore -- because it might also upset someone they do business with.

    If you've ever wondered whether TV news was really objective, I think you now know it's not.

    I suggest that you stick to print and the Net for your news -- it may not be perfect but at least it hasn't demonstrated quite the degree of self-interest that our FTA TV broadcasters have.

    Have Your Say
    As always, your comments are welcomed. Please remember to select "For Publication" if you want them included on this site.

    Have your say.

    Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
    Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or page?

    Just add a couple of lines of JavaScript to your pages and you can get a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated each and every week-day.

    Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using the RSS format. More details can be found here.

    Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and have any problems.

    Linking Policy
    Want to link to this site? Check out Aardvark's Linking Policy.

    Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!

    Security Alerts
    Security flaw in Microsoft Office for Mac (CNet - 18/04/2002)

    A trio of MS-Office security vulns (TheReg - 10/04/2002)

    Two new "critical" bugs patched in IE (ZDNet - 01/04/2002)

    Second Java hole poses Windows risk (CNet - 20/03/2002)

    Microsoft offers patch for Java software (CNet - 06/03/2002)

    Virus Alerts
    New Klez worm squirms across Internet (CNet - 18/04/2002)

    Aphex E-mail Worm Has A Way With IRC, Instant Messenger (NewsBytes - 11/04/2002)

    'Bill Clinton' Worm Gets Around (NewsBytes - 22/03/2002)

    Bookmark This Page Now!


    NZL Sites
    NZ Netguide
    NZ Herald Tech
    PC World NZ
    NZOOM Technology WordWorx

    AUS Sites
    Fairfax IT
    Australian IT
    AUS Netguide
    NineMSN Tech
    APC Magazine

    USA Sites
    CNNfn Tech
    Yahoo Tech
    ZDNet Tech
    USA Today Tech
    7am.com SciTech

    UK Sites
    The Register
    BBC SciTech


    The Day's Top News
    Open in New Window = open in new window
    New Zealand

    Open in New Window Net-fraud bill wiped but victim hacked off
    Six months after a teenage hacker racked up $650 on her account, Mandy Corderoy has won her fight to have the bill wiped...
    NZ Herald

    Open in New Window Round one: Interconnection goes to the commissioner
    The Telecommunications Commissioner is about to get his hands dirty after TelstraClear applied to have a determination made over its interconnection agreement with Telecom...


    Open in New Window Windows Media Player Exposes IE Users To Attack
    In a reversal of its previous advice, Microsoft is warning that a security flaw in its Internet Explorer browser could enable a malicious Web site or e-mail message to automatically download and run a dangerous program on victims' computers...

    Open in New Window 'Fortnight' Worm Changes Browser Start-Up Page To Porn Site
    Anti-virus companies have identified a mass mailer worm known as "JS.Fortnight" that changes an infected computer's Internet start-up page to an adult site...

    Open in New Window Microsoft releases monster IE patch
    Microsoft urged Windows users to download a fix for Internet Explorer, following the company's announcement that six new flaws had been found in its Web browser...

    Open in New Window AOL won't let IE take Mac test
    America Online has dropped Internet Explorer from a test version of its software for Mac OS X, the latest sign that the Internet giant wants a rematch in the browser wars with Microsoft...

    Open in New Window Microsoft Pushes Its Case
    Not enough evidence exists to compel the court to make Microsoft produce a stripped-down version of its operating system, a company lawyer tells Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly...


    Open in New Window Telstra off the hook for ADSL
    A STOUSH between Telstra and the competition watchdog over high-speed internet access ended yesterday...
    Australian IT

    Open in New Window ING not invited to domain name D-day
    auDA's suspension of reseller Internet Name Group as a provisionally-accredited registrar remains in place, even as the registry for .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .asn.au and .id.au prepares to go live...


    Open in New Window Experts Rip New Microsoft Browser Patch
    Microsoft has just released a patch for several serious flaws in its Internet Explorer browser versions 5.01, 5.5 and 6.0. But in a posting to security mailing list BugTraq, an Israeli security advisory company contended that Microsoft failed to understand the problem and did not address some of the six new vulnerabilities...

    Open in New Window PayPal Faces More Lawsuits, Could Lose MasterCard
    Two more companies have accused online payment firm PayPal (Nasdaq: PYPL) of using their technology without permission, and the company's relationship with MasterCard may be in jeopardy...

    Open in New Window Government goes mobile
    Imagine getting your exam results, an update on your passport application or news that your state benefit was in your bank via mobile phone...

    Open in New Window Yahoo! charges! for NYTimes! content!
    The creep towards paid-for online content continued today with news that access to the NYTimes.com's archives is now available at a price on Yahoo!...
    The Register

    Open in New Window Microsoft dealt another blow on Lindows
    Microsoft's claim to the word "Windows" suffered another blow this week when a federal judge again questioned the company's assertion that the term is not generic...

    Looking For More News or Information?

    Search WWW Search Aardvark

    Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2002, Bruce Simpson, republication rights available on request

    jet engine page